Sony Pictures and YouTube are in talks to make some of Sony's full-length feature films available on YouTube, according to a CNET report. Details on the deal are still unknown, but it would liberate Sony's movies from the relative obscurity of Crackle and place them in front of millions of YouTube surfers for free.
There's one big problem: Crackle's catalog contains very few recent releases. You can watch last year's James Bond thriller Quantum of Solace, but too many of the movies available via Crackle are non-classics from the Nineties, such as The Opposite of Sex and the forgotten 1998 remake of Godzilla.
So far, free online movie offerings are no match for the titles sold by Netflix, Amazon and iTunes. MGM and YouTube announced plans to deliver full-length movies last year, but MGM's YouTube channel still carries only clips and trailers.
Other sites, most notably the Fox/NBC site Hulu, carry free full-length movies. But again the offerings seem like leftovers rather than prime cuts. Hulu's top ten titles include National Lampoon's Spring Break and the pothead comedy Totally Baked. Unless Sony ponies up the Spiderman flicks and The Da Vinci Code, its YouTube channel will be nice to have, but not a game changer.